Packing post 9/11 is already difficult, but add singing into the mix, and it definitely adds further complications.
One reader asked:
This may sound silly but, I would love some input from those who travel often about how to build a wardrobe that a. travels well b. isn’t boring c. facilitates all the needs of being a singer while still maintaining a level of class and elegance. There are so many other events that we have to attend while on the road that it makes packing a bear especially with the weight regulations from the airlines.
Definitely not a silly question. Careful planning of my wardrobe well in advance of traveling is what has helped me the most. But my three suggestions would be fabric choices, accessory options, and color coordinated separates.
There are so many great fabrics out there that drape well on the body (which is perfect for appoggio breathing required of singers) and do not wrinkle. I own a floor length gown from Laundry by Shelli Segal that I can literally roll into a ball, throw into my suitcase, and it never wrinkles. It is 100% polyester, but it certainly does not look cheap as it is a designer dress (I am also a good bargain shopper). I have another floor-length gown that is made of silk and metallic from Nicole Miller that I can fold into a tiny little square, put into a large Ziploc bag, and it never wrinkles.
As far as accessories, a few key pieces can add variety to the same outfit: a statement necklace, a colorful scarf, or even a different colored belt and matching shoes.
But the best advice I can offer is to wear color coordinated separates. I can travel with one black skirt and then change my look with different blouses or sweaters. The key is that all your wardrobe components should match each other. I try to limit myself to two or three colors. I recently traveled to Cambridge, England, where I presented a solo recital, gave a master class, and met informally with students and teachers. For a two-week trip I brought only one small suitcase, and I limited myself to gold, black and red clothes. That’s it. Each wardrobe item I brought matched with everything else in my suitcase. It was a MAJOR headache to whittle it down to that, but I was so much happier when I only had one small bag to lug up and down multiple stairs, quickly had to hop onto trains, or was wedged in like a sardine on the Tube in London.
You might also want to invest in a few roll-up space saver bags. You can buy them at Target, Kohls, REI, or online. They are nifty compressible travel bags that are fairly inexpensive and remove all the extraneous air. They can save a lot of room in your suitcase.